Dog bites are known for being especially traumatic. If you have suffered critical injuries and emotional trauma after being attacked by a dog, you may have the right to compensation for your losses.
However, the claims process may seem overwhelming. If you are hoping to heal from your injuries and avoid the legal hassles of an insurance claim or civil lawsuit, make sure you retain a powerful legal advocate. Contact a reputable North Charleston personal injury lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm for a free consultation and find out how you can make the dog’s owner pay the compensation you need.
South Carolina Dog Bite Laws
The dog bite laws in the state of South Carolina will directly impact your opportunities for financial recovery. It is important to understand how the state’s dog bite laws work if you hope to hold the liable party accountable and recover compensation for your suffering. Here is more:
Your dog bite lawyer in North Charleston, SC, will need to evaluate your dog bite case to determine who is responsible for causing your injuries. Typically, dog owners are held accountable when their dogs bite or attack someone else.
This is because the state of South Carolina has strict liability laws in place that require dog owners to maintain control of their pets at all times. Any time a dog owner fails to maintain this control, they can be held accountable.
However, there are limited circumstances in which other parties could also be partly responsible for your dog bite injuries. For instance, if a dog owner purchased fencing to contain their dog within their yard, but the fencing was defective or malfunctioned in some way, the fence manufacturer, installer, and other third-party can also share fault.
Dog Owner Liability Exclusions
Dog owners are always responsible for ensuring their pet is under their control. However, there are some instances in which dog owners may be able to avoid liability for a victim’s damages.
This typically occurs in situations where the dog was provoked into acting aggressively. If the injury victim was teasing the dog, hitting, kicking, or punching the dog, or otherwise attempting to incite an aggressive or violent reaction from the dog, the dog’s owner may not be held accountable for the dog’s actions.
South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence system. This means when you are found partially at fault for the injuries you sustained, you will not be barred from financial recovery unless your portion of the liability is greater than 51%.
In instances where the dogs owner has accused you of provoking their pet or otherwise sharing liability for your injuries, you may be able to utilize the state’s shared fault laws to ensure the dog’s owner is still held accountable for their negligence.
Statute of Limitations
Your dog bite attorney in North Charleston, SC, will need to get started on your claim as soon as possible if you hope to avoid putting your right to compensation at risk. The statute of limitations for dog bite claims in South Carolina is just three years.
This is a limited amount of time to pursue your case. The sooner we can get started, the more likely it is we will be able to gather the evidence we need to prove the dog owner’s negligence in your case.
Unfortunately, if you make the mistake of waiting to get your claim filed and the deadline passes, you will lose your right to have your case heard in civil court. Our North Charleston dog bite lawyers are standing by and ready to get started on your case as soon as possible so you can avoid issues with the statute of limitations in your case.
Recoverable Damages in North Charleston Dog Bite Cases
After suffering debilitating dog bite injuries, you might be surprised to learn that you are entitled to compensation for every single loss you have suffered. These losses are not only monetary in nature but can also account for the way in which your entire life has been affected (and may continue to be affected) by your injuries.
Collectively, these are commonly referred to as economic damages and non-economic damages, also commonly referred to as general damages or special damages. Your economic damages and special damages account for all of your monetary losses. Here, you may be able to seek compensation for any out-of-pocket or financial expenses, some of which could include:
- Money you were unable to earn when you had to take time off of work
- Your inability to continue earning a living
- Ambulance and hospital bills
- Transportation costs, co-pays, and costs of prescription medications
- Medical equipment fees and the costs of making home accommodations
- All of your future medical expenses
- Your diminished earning capacity, including loss of employee benefits, such as paid time off, bonuses, holiday pay, vacation time, and contributions to your retirement savings accounts
However, these are only a couple of the different types of financial losses you could seek compensation for in your claim. There are a wide variety of losses you are entitled to that have nothing to do with money at all. These are commonly known as general damages or non-economic damages.
Examples of such losses could include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Diminished quality of life
- Skin scars
- Disfiguring injuries
- Chronic physical pain
- Emotional trauma
- Psychological distress
- Inconvenience and reputation of damages
- Embarrassment and shame
These are only a few of the damages that could be recovered following an attack or bite by a dog in North Charleston. Our dog bite attorneys are here to help you maximize the amount of compensation you are awarded and ensure the dog’s owner or other liable parties are compelled to cover your damages in their entirety.
Get Help from a Dog Bite Lawyer in North Charleston Today
Your dog bite injuries may have a significant impact on your life for years to come. It is important that you access the compensation you are entitled to so you are not stuck covering the cost. Make the dog’s owner pay for their negligent actions.
Reach out to an experienced North Charleston dog bite attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm for a no-cost, risk-free consultation today. You can reach us through our quick contact form or by phone to take advantage of this opportunity.